In defence of genethical parity

Tim Bayne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Can a person be harmed or wronged by being brought into existence? Can a person be benefited by being brought into existence? Following David Heyd, the chapter will refer to these questions as 'genethical questions'. The chapter examines three broad approaches to genethics: the no-faults model, the dual-benchmark model, and the parity model. The no-faults model holds that coming into existence is not properly subject to moral evaluation, at least so far as the interests of the person that is to be brought into existence are concerned. The dual-benchmark model allows that coming into existence can be subject to moral evaluation, but holds that our judgements about the kinds of lives worth starting ought not be aligned with our judgements about the kinds of lives worth sustaining. The chapter argues against both the no-faults and dual-benchmark models. In their place, the chapter argues for a parity approach to genethics, according to which our judgements about the conditions under which life is worth creating ought to be constrained by our judgements about the conditions under which life is worth continuing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcreation and parenthood
Subtitle of host publicationThe ethics of bearing and rearing children
EditorsDavid Archard, David Benatar
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages31-56
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780191595547
ISBN (Print)9780199590704
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Genethics
  • Harm
  • Life worth continuing
  • Life worth starting
  • Wrongful life

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